Fructose: The Carb That Makes You Sick

Life always seems to be better in hindsight. I’m thinking of 25 years ago when the music was better and so was the traffic. Not only that, but as a nation, we each weighed an average of 25 pounds less. A lot of very competent people have tried to figure out why, but they stop thinking when they see that we are eating from 200 to 400 more calories per day now than we did then. The assumption is that this is just a calorie issue, but nothing could be further from the truth — the source of the calories matters. We now know that the additional weight doesn’t come from eating extra fat or from protein. It comes from eating carbohydrates, pure and simple.

You’ve heard about the formula for weight loss of “calories in equals calories out,” right? Well, that formula is wrong. We have biochemical processes that burn or store energy and some of us store much more than others, making that equation far too simplistic.

The formula I use is:

Calories in (-) Fat storage = Calories out (feel good energy)

Since we all store or burn different levels of fat, our food intake will need to be different in order to live the same happy, energy-filled life. In some ways the drive to overeat is really a drive to increase our energy because our storage is just too efficient, leaving us feeling like we need to eat more.

It turns out that much of our increased carbohydrate intake over the last 25 years is in the form of soda and fruit drinks, (you might have heard that drinking one can of soda per day will equal 15 ½ pounds of fat gain in one year.) It turns out that the carbohydrate contained in these drinks, and many other foods we commonly eat, is FRUCTOSE. This empty, non-nutrient sugar is in the form of high fructose corn syrup (sucrose). It is incredibly cheap and is in everything from pretzels to catsup – essentially every processed food.

Here are the big problems with Fructose:

• Fructose is 7 times more reactive than glucose with advanced glycosolated end products, which is another way of saying that it ages the insides of your arteries and causes heart disease.

• 30% of our intake of fructose will become fat.

• Fructose does not suppress the hunger hormone (Ghrelin), so you will eat in spite being full.

• Fructose does not stimulate insulin or leptin, the hormone that tells your brain that you are getting fatter, and so you eat more.

• Fructose is metabolized in the liver and one result is an increase of uric acid that causes gout and also results in high blood pressure by blocking an enzyme for nitric oxide.

• Fructose increases insulin resistance and triglycerides and non-alcoholic fatter liver.

• Fructose changes the way the brain perceives your energy reserves. Essentially, you may think you are starving, so you eat more.

• Chronic use of fructose causes high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular disease, lipid problems and type II diabetes.

What to Do

• Get rid of sugared liquids- there is no such thing as a good sugar beverage
• Eat carbohydrates with fiber-an essential nutrient
• Wait 20 min for second portions – to get the “I feel full” signal

The good news!

There is an antidote to fructose. In nature, fructose is always accompanied with fiber, like in the case of sugar cane. That is why fruit with meals is usually OK because it limits the fructose you can take in, unlike fruit juice, and is accompanied with fiber, a nutrient that helps gut bacteria and slows the surge of the sugar rush.

Getting a grip on fructose is only one facet of a total health program, one that encompasses life style habits, diet and your individual chemistry. With appropriate blood and adrenal testing, natural treatments for weight gain are very effective.

Dr. Don Davis, D.C., DACNB is a BOARD CERTIFIED CHIROPRACTIC NEUROLOGIST in Walnut Creek. He has been serving individuals with insomnia for 30 years. For information about how you can get a free consultation with Dr. Davis, call (925) 279-4324 (HEAL). Visit us at